In October 2016 I reached the milestone of 15 years of entrepreneurship. I can barely believe it myself, because it has gone so fast. In conclusion, it was a period of ups and downs, of joy and frustration, of charging hourly rates and creating products.
When you think that after 5 years, 40% of companies are no longer in existence, then I can be proud of myself for making it to 15 years.
And that I have managed to earn a decent living from it is an enjoyable advantage.
Although I have had my share of financial challenges, I must admit that I have always overcame them, but not without a fight.
I have learnt many lessons over the past 15 years. What works, but also where I did not make the best of choices. I had my pitfalls but managed to scramble back up. Moments of joy and of success became part of my life. I have been fortunate in finding my clients and building a network. And my business path made me stronger, more independent, more aware, and gave a boost to my personal development.
For that reason I would like to share with you 15 tips (or lessons) from my 15 years entrepreneurship. These can also help you to be successful and to access your personal power.
If you ask me: ”Would you like to stop and re-enter salaried employment?” Then I will answer with a frank: “No thank you, onwards I go. Actually, I have only just started!”
Here are my 15 tips:
1. Follow your heart and passion
Do things which make you feel happy, not for others, but for yourself.
Take decisions based on your intuition. If I don’t listen to my intuition and start rationalising, then I will sadly making the wrong decision. Therefor, I have learnt to listen to my heart and to follow my passion. That has certainly made me a happier person!
2. Ask others for help
I get most of my assignments through my network. Therefor, I always ask for referrals which helps me to new assignments. Invest in your network and dare to ask!
3. Outsource what you are not good at
For a long time I did everything myself and was always short of time. I learnt to outsource the tasks I was not good at and where I needed to call on experts, such as my website, or translating my cv and coaching cards. In this way you help yourself, and others. It relieves you and brings peace in your life.
4, Believe in yourself
Actually this is the power which drives my business. It took a lot out of me to do so, but it is wonderfully liberating. Believing in your own power and your ability to carry out change is the foundation of the Nichiren Buddhism which I practice daily.
5. Believe there is always something better for you ahead
Easier said than done. I have made this into a principle which helps me to tackle challenges. And it really works! If you believe that something better is waiting for you ahead, then it really will! Try it and you will see!
6. Stay true to yourself
Don’t spend your time comparing yourself to others, but follow your own path and believe in it. Believe there is no competition as you are unique. There is no one like you, hence no one can be compared to you. It is essential to reflect this to others in order to attract clients who also believe it.
7. Laugh every day (especially at yourself)
A day without laughing is a day without living. Humour is very important to me. It helps to relativize and is also healthy.
8. Begin the day positively through meditation
What helps me every day is meditation. As a Buddhist, I always start my day with a meditation. In this way I set out on my day full of positivity and energy. This enables me to overcome the challenges of the day.
9. Set goals and take action (focus)
Setting goals is very important in my life. I realise that if I set goals, and write them down, my brain works towards making decisions that lead me to these goals. By focussing on the actions, I reach my goals.
10. Never give up!
I really am a go-getter and have even been called a Pitbull. But I just don’t give up and that has brought me a lot of success. Don’t ever give up, especially on something you really believe in. She who perseveres, overcomes.
11. Work together with like-minded people
Collaboration brings new possibilities and development. Join forces with others who complement you and share the same values as you. When I started working with the BIZZ Road Map, 1 of the 10 steps is to find a collaborator. As soon as I had described who I was looking for and why, someone came my way. It brought me a lot.
12. Never listen to someone who has not done it themselves (and hence has no clue)
I always tell my son this. I usually never share my plans with family members or friends who themselves have never dared to start a company or take risks. When I moved to Aruba many friends declared I was mad. But then they themselves had never moved to another country so how could they give me good advice? For advice, look for someone who has done the same. They can support you and even mentor you.
13. Control your finances
Work on your money mind-set. Women often have limiting beliefs concerning money. They outsource their administration because it is not the most enjoyable part. However unfortunately, everything revolves around money. Insight into your finance can show you where you need to focus. I always dedicated a lot of attention to revenue, and it started to grow. What you focus on, grows.
14. Work on your business model/revenue streams
For years I worked on an hourly-rate basis until I decided I wanted to work less but earn the same. That meant I needed to closely examine my business model and revenue stream. That is what started me on my own BIZZ Road Map journey. The map I follow myself and with which I help fellow women entrepreneurs. By following the steps myself, I now see that I work smarter, follow my passion and have found more balance in my life. I became a happier entrepreneur by examining my business model. This is an ongoing process.
15. Invest in yourself
Follow trainings, attend seminars and develop yourself. This will also help you find your passion and mission. It brings self-confidence and you gain knowledge which you can then share with others. You become an expert in your field. But most importantly, you grow yourself and through you, so does your business.
What tip can you share from your entrepreneurship? Will you share it in the response area beneath? Your input can help me and the other readers too.
I truly appreciate that you made time to read my blog and you will make me even happier if you leave a comment! Thank you!
Invitation to discover my coaching Creating Value Cards
In order to help you work on your business model in a fun way, I developed the Creating Value Cards. This card game is based on the action plan, the “BIZZ Road Map”. With this action plan you will work in 10 concrete steps on the growth of your business, based on the pillars of mind-set and personal value(s) as the foundation of your business. You can experience the cards by downloading 4 cards, using the following link: 4 free Creating Value Cards.